FBI’s James Comey: Conversation Needed on Encryption’s Impacts to National Security, Law Enforcement

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James Comey
James Comey

FBI Director James Comey has called on the U.S. government and the public to work together and identify ways to discuss issues of security and privacy related to encryption.

Comey noted in a speech delivered Wednesday at the Center for the Study of American Democracy Biennial Conference at Kenyon College in Ohio that it is challenging to establish conversations about the impact of encryption on national security and law enforcement.

“Ubiquitous strong encryption is bringing significant change to the way we think about liberty and security,” Comey said.

“We should try to have a thoughtful conversation about what we do about it as a people.”

He also discussed how the litigation between the U.S. government and Apple over the iPhone 5C of a terrorist involved in the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California incited several individuals to look for ways to get encryption data from the phone.

Comey also cited his views on the issue of privacy at the conference.

“You may still end up disagreeing with the government, but starting from the position that privacy should be absolute is just not a fair-minded place to be in my estimation,” he said.

“It’s also not the case I believe that any infringement on privacy is to be feared,” Comey added.

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